PROF Field Rickards

PROF Field Rickards


  • Clinical teaching
  • Measurement of infant hearing
  • Outcomes for children with mild/profound hearing loss
  • Teacher education



  • Professor Field Rickards was appointed Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne in August 2004, following four years as an officer of the Academic Board (of which he was President 2003-July 2004). He was appointed to the Foundation Chair in Education of Hearing Impaired Children at The University of Melbourne in 1994 after four years of Reader in charge of the Deafness Studies Unit. Prior to this, he was Senior Lecturer in Audiology in the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Melbourne, where he led Australia’s first post-graduate course in Audiology in 1974. He is a Fellow of the Audiological Society of Australia, the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

    His research in the 1980s led to the commercial development of an automatic evoked response audiometer (ASSR) which can accurately measure hearing in infants. The system is manufactured in the US and has been translated into standard international practice as an important tool in the diagnostic assessment of very young infants and children who have failed hearing screens.

    His move from audiology to education of the hearing impaired focussed his research on early detection (the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program) and early diagnosis of hearing impairment, early intervention (play development and social competence) and factors affecting the educational outcomes for hearing impaired. He has previously had a close involvement with the Advisory Council of Children with Impaired Hearing, which has run a state-wide early intervention program since the early 1970s, and chaired the Victorian State Infant Hearing Working Group. The working group was the major catalyst for the introduction of Universal Newborn Screening in Victoria. He has studied the onset of Otitis Media in Aboriginal Infants in association with the Menzies School for Health Research in Darwin. He has been a co-inve



Member of

  • The Bionics Institute. Director 1988 -
  • Deafness Foundation, Victoria. Trustee 1976 -
  • Audiological Society of Australia. Member of Executive 1978 - 2021
  • Asia Education Foundation Board. Chairman 2004 - 2017
  • Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute. Director 2004 - 2016
  • International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes. Chair 2011 - 2012
  • Australian Hearing. Director 2001 - 2007
  • National Acoustic Laboratories Research Committee. Chairman 2001 - 2007
  • Australian Hearing Human Research Ethics Committee. Member 1999 - 2007
  • The University of Melbourne. Member of Council 2002 - 2004
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Member, Research Committee 1988 - 2004
  • Standards Association of Australia Subcommittee. Member (AK/2/1 Otological and Audiological) 1979 - 2004
  • Wesley College, Melbourne. Member of Council 1987 - 2003
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Chairman 1997 - 2002
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Member of Executive Committee 1992 - 2002
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Vice Chairman 1993 - 1997
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Honorary Consultant 1974 - 1992
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Chairman, Research Committee 1980 - 1987
  • Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing. Member of Coordinating Committee of Professional Services 1980 - 1983


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Competitive Research Grants (Additional, Selected)

    Melissa Wake, Gehan Roberts, Susan Gathercole, Lisa Gold, Peter Anderson (Field Rickards, Associate Investigator) (2012-2014) Preventing early academic problems by improving working memory: Translational randomized trial. NHMRC Project Grant 1005317 $800,834

    Margaret Brown, Esther Care, Bridie Raban, Field Rickards, Terry O’Connell (2008-2012) The Young Learners’ Project: Identifying personalised learning strategies for early literacy in children in pre-school and the first year of school ARC linkage project LP0883437.
    $395,468 (2008 $45,000, 2009 $90,000, 2010 $90,000, 2011 $ 107,734, 2012 $62,734)

    Melissa Wake, Zeffie Poulakis, Field Rickards (2009-2010) Improving outcomes for children with congenital hearing loss: Wave 3 of the Children with Hearing Impairment in Victoria Outcome Study (CHIVOS): The Financial Markets Foundation for Children (2009-2011)

    Melissa Wake, Teresa Ching, Lisa Gold, Zeffie Poulakis, Field Rickards, Sheena Reilly (2008-2010) Principal Investigator. Population outcomes and cost-effectiveness of universal newborn hearing vs risk factor screening at age 5 years. NHMRC Project Grant 491228

    Melissa Wake, Field Rickards, Zeffie Poulakis (2004-2005) Principal Investigator. The Children with Hearing Loss in Victoria Study: deaf adolescents in a hearing world. The Financial Markets Foundation for Children (S035-2004)

    Blamey, P., Dowell, R, & Rickards F.W. (2003-2005). Principal Investigator. A longitudinal study of language learning to assess early intervention outcomes in pre-school children with impaired hearing. Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

    Rickards, F.W., Poulis, C & Wake, M (2003-2004). Principal Investigator. Evaluation of the AABR as the screening instrument in the Victorian statewide NICU screening programme. Deafness Foundation Victo   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1984
  • MEd, The University of Manchester 1975
  • BSc(Hons), University of Melbourne 1971

Awards and honors

  • Australian Council of Educational Leaders, 2015
  • Sir James Darling Medal, Australian College of Educators, 2013
  • Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2012
  • Fellow of the Audiology Society of Australia, 1986
  • Fellow of the Australian College of Education, 1986


Available for supervision

  • N